BG Note | News - What We're Reading (December 12, 2017)

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[Austin Metro]

Kitchen to take up city efforts to preserve music, arts venues (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY

Council Member Ann Kitchen has started work on a resolution that will direct city staff to examine ways for the city to step up and help prevent music venues, small community theaters and other creative spaces from being priced out of their long-standing locations.
Kitchen said the effort is still in the very preliminary stages but some possible steps could include expanding existing programs for rental and capital improvement assistance for venues and tailoring the city’s economic incentives program to improve the business health for groups that are frequently low margin or nonprofit...

City’s homeless services not coordinated (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY

Austin lacks a single coordinator to oversee all of its activities and expenditures relating to the homeless to make sure that they are operating efficiently, according to an audit released by the Office of the City Auditor on Monday.
In addition, the city needs to coordinate with outside groups, such as the Ending Community Homelessness Coalition, to make sure that neither one misses opportunities to assist people experiencing homelessness, the audit said.
The audit, which the City Council Audit and Finance Committee approved at Monday’s meeting, is the second in a series related to the city’s efforts to effectively provide homelessness assistance services. Last month, auditors released an audit showing that some city regulations make problems of the homeless harder to address and make them subject to arrest...

DivInc Spotlights Austin’s Diverse Tech Founders at its Third Demo Day (Silicon Hills News) LINK TO STORY

Austin’s rare snow and ice storm didn’t stop the tech community from turning out at DivInc’s Demo Day at Google’s Austin downtown office Friday night.
The night shined a spotlight on women and minority tech founders who are launching startups in Austin.
“It’s about startups. It is about diversity and inclusion but it’s also about this expanding startup ecosystem and making it more inclusive to give opportunities for this hidden talent that’s across Austin, said Preston James, co-founder of DivInc, an Austin-based accelerator that helps women and minorities launch tech startups...

[STATE]

Filing period comes to calm close after chaotic 30 days (The Texas Tribune) LINK TO STORY

A hectic candidate filing period came to a relatively calm close Monday evening, with few major surprises as the field was set for the 2018 primaries in Texas.
The political landscape had been upended in recent weeks, with a rash of congressional retirements leading to five newly open seats. Four state lawmakers launched campaigns for those seats, setting the stage for further turnover in Austin.
While every major statewide official — all Republicans — is up for re-election next year, few drew serious opposition. The highest-profile primary race appears to be for land commissioner, where the incumbent, George P. Bush, faces his predecessor, Jerry Patterson...

The Texas primaries are 3 months away. Here are 5 races to watch. (Austin American-Statesman) LINK TO STORY

The deadline for candidates to file for the March primaries was Monday. Here are five races to watch: ...

Six-way race for Dawnna Dukes’ seat: State Rep. Dukes, D-Austin, found new political life after the Travis County district attorney dropped corruption charges against her. That hasn’t stopped five Democrats, including former Austin City Council Member Sheryl Cole, from lining up to challenge her.


Economist: Harvey's impact will guide development in Houston (AP New) LINK TO STORY

A Houston business group said Friday that Hurricane Harvey's biggest long-term impact on the nation's fourth-largest city likely will be on where and how new homes and structures are built.
The results of Harvey's flooding will likely guide how development goes forward in the city for the next decade, said Patrick Jankowski, the regional economist for the Greater Houston Partnership. "Every time we get a little bit better understanding, a little bit more technology as we understand development patterns, we'll still be making changes to this ... We'll have to," Jankowski said after presenting his group's annual Houston employment forecast during a luncheon...

The Bingham Group, LLC is an Austin-based full service lobbying firm representing and advising clients on municipal, legislative, and regulatory matters throughout Texas.

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